Happy Friday! Irregularities keep popping up across government enterprises and institutions. Today, the Minister of Health appointed a new management team to take charge of state-owned Lozenets Hospital after firing the previous one for draining health insurance funds, violations in transplant procedures, and poor financial results.
The Road Infrastructure Agency hasn't been doing great either - a week after taking the post, Chairman of the Management Board Eng. Apostol Minchev announced that violations were found in the ongoing repairs of the Trakia and Maritsa highways.
Meanwhile, caretaker Minister of Justice Yanaki Stoilov has removed the head of Sofia Prison Desislav Traykov for the duration of an initiated disciplinary proceeding against him.
In other news:
Prosecutor's office finds no wiretapping (so far)
The prosecutor's office has initiated criminal proceedings over the illegal wiretapping of politicians announced by the co-chairman of "Democratic Bulgaria'' Atanas Atanasov, later confirmed by Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov.
So far, in an investigation still ongoing, 11 witnesses have been questioned. Information has been requested from the General Directorate for the Fights against Organized Crime, as well as from the Internal Security Directorate of the Ministry of Interior and the State Agency for National Security. "From the answers received so far, it is clear that no illegal wiretapping of persons involved in political life and the elections for the 45th National Assembly has yet been established," said Siika Mileva, speaker for Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev.
More state aid for firms
The Minister of the Economy Kiril Petkov announced a new guarantee scheme for SMEs recovering from the Covid-19 crisis worth 2.5 million levs. The new loans will not require collateral but applicants will have to produce documents showing that their business has been operating over the past three years. Applicants will be able to apply for loans for up to 70% of their income in 2019 or 2020, "whichever is higher," Petkov said. The interest rate was not specified. Also, the so-called "60/40" employment scheme will continue for two more months.
Caretaker government with 60% approval rating
A Market Links report shows that over 60% of respondents in a recent poll support the caretaker government and its actions, especially regarding personnel changes in state institutions. Pollsters also report an increase in interest in the elections compared to the results at the end of April - now, 63% say they would vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections whereas a month ago the percentage stood at 60%. However, GERB still leads with 21% of respondents' votes. Some experts sya this represents the party's remaining hardcore backers.